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Much Ado About Nothing - summary

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Much Ado About Nothing is set in the Elizabethan era, in a town called Messina. The play is about two main characters that fall in love and decide to marry, but their happiness is short lived when a friend's brother decides to play a trick on them, and it all goes horribly wrong. The play seems to be about how women were portrayed and treated in the Elizabethan era and how certain situations were thought to be so terrible then, enough so that families were forced to take very drastic action to save face. There are many different events in the play which are summarised as follows: Leonato lives in the town of Messina, with his daughter hero and his niece Beatrice, as well as his brother Antonio. The play begins with Leonato welcoming some friend's home from the war. They are Don Pedro, a prince and two soldiers Claudio, a nobleman and Benedick, a man who always jokes, at the expense of his friends. Don John is also part of this crowd. Claudio soon falls in love with Hero and decides to get married. ...read more.


He also seems to be a bit of an entertainer among others, I think this is a way to show his true feelings, such as "play fighting" with Beatrice for an example. Claudio however is not one to hide his feelings towards people, especially Hero. In act four scene one he makes the mistake of accusing Hero of something that she did not do, this is down to the fact that Claudio thinks whatever he sees or hears is true. This is a problem on its own as he thinks the worst of her before getting proof that it was indeed her.Act four; Scene One gives a clear impression of Elizabethan times. Women were clearly treated as second-class citizens. Men expected them to be demure, innocent and proper. Men were seen as being more important than women and were given more chances to succeed in a line of work, whereas women were expected to have no career after marriage. Instead, they were often left at home and were expected to be a good wife and mother. It was not a good idea for women in Elizabethan times to question their husbands or indeed any other male within their family. ...read more.


Beatrice is another woman who gets treated badly by the men in the play, due to the fact that she is loud and out-spoken, and she is not seen suitable for marriage.My conclusion to the attitudes of men towards women in the Elizabethan era is that, I think, Leonato felt pressured by the other men in the scene to not believe his daughter and to believe instead the lies told about her. Claudio, even though he loved Hero it was not enough for him to believe her, this tells us that in Elizabethan times men were more likely to believe another man rather a woman. This is very typical of the time as men and woman seemed to have different sets of morals all usually in the favour of the men. Women had very few rights if any and I think they had to work very hard at always acting in the proper and correct way or they could very easily get a very bad name for themselves. They not only had to think of their own reputation but that of their families who could loose their social standing if their daughters behaved inappropriately. "Not to be married, Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton." Act 4 scene 1 Carly Hayes 11T ...read more.

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  1. Much Ado About Nothing - Elizabethan Women

    I may sit in a corner and cry 'heigh-ho for a husband" (2.1.281-283)- she is sad because no man would want to marry her. This goes back to the Elizabethan views of women because Beatrice would have been viewed as a shrew and would have been regarded as unruly.

  2. "Much Ado About Nothing" in fact has a great deal to say about love ...

    In addition to romantic love, Shakespeare makes several comments about parental love with the characters of Leonato and Hero. With her father, Hero is similarly as dutiful and subservient as with Claudio. She accepts commands from her father, doesn't answer back, and doesn't speak her own opinions.

  1. From your reading of "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Much Ado About Nothing" ...

    The men arrive in masks: Don Pedro and Hero dance; Benedick and Beatrice dance, and she makes fun of Benedick in general, possibly not knowing she is in fact dancing with him. Don John appears to Claudio, who identifies himself as Benedick, even though Don John knows he's Claudio.

  2. In what way does Shakespeare's play 'Much Ado About Nothing' reflect the stereotypical views ...

    A "cuckold" man was a weak one. There were many famous plays, especially in the Restoration, about men trying to regain their power after being "cuckolded". It is noticeable in 'Much Ado' that Hero effectively dies after her supposed liaison with Borrachio.

  1. What is striking about Much Ado About Nothing is that it is written largely ...

    Claudio states that if he sees any reason not to wed Hero that night, he will shame her in the church before the wedding ceremony the next day. Don Pedro supports him and they promise to meet Don John that night.

  2. 'Much Ado About Nothing' - study in detail the two main female characters, Beatrice ...

    beard is less than a man: and he that is more than a youth, is not for me, and he that is less than a man, I am not for him." Beatrice also plays on the idea God made Adam from earth and she will not "Match in my kindred"

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